Unfortunately, there is a second generation already waiting in the wings.
Both men have sons – James has 2 boys and Wade has 3 – and thanks to Instagram it’s public knowledge that some of those apples have been slam dunked rather close to the tree. Earlier in the season, Wade posted images of his 11-year-old son Zaire gutting out a man-sized hoops workout; James responded a few weeks later with a video of 9-year-old LeBron Jr. going 25-8-8 in a youth league game. Dads across the country responded by encouraging their kids to take up baseball.
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Great bloodlines can help in the NBA – sons have gone into the family business 64 times – but as a general rule legend status isn’t inherited. In Bill Simmons’ top 96 players of all time, only 8 are either the father or son of an NBA player and there are no father-son tandems. Watching LeBron Jr. break down defenses is entertaining, but it’s not a real predictor of any future success. Don’t tell that to Knicks President James Dolan, though. He’s busy trying to sign Carmelo Anthony’s 6-year-old son to a long-term deal.